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estate administration & probate Archives

Don't neglect your digital assets in your estate plan

Creating an effective estate plan in 2017 means making sure that you account for your digital assets as well as your other, more tangible assets. This means making sure that your executor and the administrator of your estate plan have access to your online accounts and have the authority to make decisions about them in accordance with your wishes.

Does my executor need assistance?

When you name an executor to your estate, you are shouldering an individual, or possibly several individuals, with a number of very serious responsibilities. No one should take the position of an executor lightly, and anyone creating an estate plan should provide reasonable resources and assistance to their executor to ensure that all the relevant duties can actually be carried out.

Should I pay my deceased family member's credit card debt?

Handling the estate of a loved one as an executor is a great privilege and responsibility, but that doesn't mean that it will be easy. The process can become exceptionally difficult if the estate in question has a significant amount of credit card debt. When it comes to credit card debt, the law actually provides survivors of a debtor some surprising options.

Owning real estate in multiple states requires extra planning

When planning your estate, there are number of elements that can provide a surprising amount of complexity. One common issue that arises when creating a comprehensive estate plan is the matter of owning real estate in more than one state. This can lead to a number of issues, especially if you have already established a will and other real estate when you purchase the property.

Am I the executor to a faulty will?

When serving as an executor for another individual's will, it is important to remember that a will may not be as enforceable as you or the testator would like. Several factors contribute to the unenforcibility of a will, and each requires a sober approach to handle correctly.

Formal and informal probate in Arizona

Arizona, like all states, maintains its own regulations that govern when and how different types of probate occur when a person passes away or is incapacitated. While there are some other types of probate, most examples of the process fall into either informal or formal probate. A general understanding of the circumstances that may necessitate either form can help you plan for the future or anticipate many aspects an impending probate procedure if you are already facing one.

Credit card debt after death

One of the primary advantages of creating an estate plan is protecting your property and assets from creditors who may come after them after you pass away. In general, any debt that you have accrued in your lifetime must be settled by your estate and does not pass on to an heir. Creditors, especially credit card lenders, may make wildly inaccurate claims to your family about what their responsibility is to your debt, so it is wise to have an estate plan firmly in place that can deal with any of these issues before they arise. It is also helpful to make sure that your family is well-educated about their rights and obligations when it comes to your estate and your debt.

Designating accounts as pay-on-death

For many years now, estate planning has largely focused on circumventing the probate process following the death of an estate holder. Depending on the size of your estate and the complexity of your assets, you may be faced with myriad options for how to construct your particular estate plan and ensure that your beneficiaries are not left waiting for an undue amount of time while the state has its way with your assets. For some individuals, bypassing probate may be as simple as designating some of their accounts as "payable-on-death" or "transfer-on-death," and assigning beneficiaries to those accounts.

New years' resolutions to protect yourself and those you love

For almost everyone in the America, 2016 was a year that held many surprises, some positive, and some heartbreaking. If nothing else, this year was an extended reminder that in big ways and small, life can take unexpected turns. As we look forward to the advent of a new year, there will be many New Years' resolutions made, in an effort to learn from the past and create a better future. Now is the perfect time to review your estate plan and resolve to address any of these key areas that may still be neglected.

Qualities of a good executor

Choosing an executor should be done very careful when creating and executing a will. While there are very few restrictions on who specifically can serve as one's executor, it is not an appointment to be taken lightly. If you are considering naming an executor, please carefully consider some standards that every executor should meet in order to truly be not only eligible but also worthy of the position.

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